Townsend takes wage deferral; Scottish Rugby season 'null and void'

Gregor Townsend, as well as two other Scotland-based coaches, has taken a 25% wage deferral caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has taken a 25% wage deferral, along with the Scottish Rugby board, due to the growing financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Edinburgh Rugby head coach Richard Cockerill and Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie have taken also taken 25% salary deferrals, while Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson has taken a 30% wage deferral.

The wage deferrals will be in place from April to September, Scottish Rugby announced on Tuesday as the world of rugby looks to cope with the negative financial implications caused by the coronavirus.

"We are working extremely hard to navigate the sport of rugby in Scotland through these extremely challenging times," Sottish Rugby chairman Colin Grassie said in a statement.

"We would like to thank all our staff, sponsors, stakeholders for their support and collaboration.

"We have a huge challenge ahead of us, but we will get there together and we will leave no stone left unturned to ensure the long term sustainability of Scottish Rugby and the sport in Scotland."

On Wednesday, the Wales Rugby Union (WRU) announced senior rugby staff, including head coach Wayne Pivac, and WRU executives including CEO Martyn Phillips, would take a 25% reduction to their salaries.

A statement said that further cuts of 10% to 25% would take place as necessary and furloughing would be implemented until the end of May.

Also on Wednesday, the Scottish Rugby announced on Wednesday that the country's domestic rugby season has been declared "null and void" due to the pandemic.

The organisation ruled that there will be no automatic promotion or relegation in its domestic leagues, including the Tennent's Premiership, after around half of clubs voted for the outcome.

Scottish Rugby president Dee Bradbury said: "It was clear from the outset that, in terms of the consequential impact on the various leagues in terms of promotion/relegation there would be no "right" solution, particularly once it was clear that our preferred option of completing the season would no longer be possible.

"Every solution we looked at was likely to be problematic in some way -- none was likely to be supported by everyone. It was therefore considered essential that the full range of options were explored, each potential option was sense checked and that, as far as possible, a broad consensus was reached across the game as to the most appropriate outcome."

Meanwhile, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced last week that its board members, as well as England head coach Eddie Jones, would take a 25% pay cut.

USA Rugby has decided to file for bankruptcy amid financial trouble exacerbated by the coronavirus shutdown, while Rugby Australia has stood down 75% of its staff.